Supreme Court questions if intercourse between Husband and wife can be termed rape

On Monday, CJI Bobde queried whether sexual intercourse between a legally wedded wife and man can be called rape? With this query, the Supreme Court has started a debate regarding consent in rape.

During the hearing of the case, the query was made where a woman accused her former live-in partner of rape after the partner married another woman.

In 2019, the Allahabad High Court rejected the petitioner’s plea to quash the FIR. The petitioner challenged this order before the Apex Court.

Counsel for the woman stated that the couple was in a relationship for two years, but the woman had refused to have intercourse till the couple were married. He further argued that the man obtained the woman’s consent by fraud when they went to Manali, where they got married at the Hidimba Temple.

However, the accused denied that a marriage ever took place and stated that the live-in relationship was consensual. On the other hand, the woman maintained that her consent was obtained by fraud as she believed that the temple marriage was real.

The bench observed that even though making a false promise to marry was wrong, it is different from stating that sexual intercourse is rape.

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When the woman submitted that the man injured her and had to visit a hospital, the Bench told her to file a case for marital cruelty and assault but should not file a rape case.

Counsel for the accused stated that the woman has filed similar cases against colleagues and demanded money from the accused, but she lodged a complaint against him when he refused. He further submitted that the woman had asked the accused’s wife to kill him as well.

After listening to the contentions, the Court granted protection from arrest to the accused for eight weeks but refused to quash the FIR.

Lastly, the Court told the accused to apply for discharge once evidence is collected.

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